Enforcement

Biofriendly Corporation Clean Air Act Settlement

(Washington, D.C. - Nov. 3, 2008) Biofriendly Corp., incorporated in Nevada with principal offices in Covina, Calif., has agreed to pay EPA $1.25 million for manufacturing and selling an unregistered fuel additive in Texas and California.

Overview

On November 3, 2008, the United States announced a settlement with Biofriendly Corporation (Biofriendly), that will require the company to pay a civil penalty of $1.25 million. The Consent Decree resolves violations of Title II of the Clean Air Act (Act) arising from the sale and introduction into commerce of a fuel additive marketed as "Green Plus" for use in diesel fuel that was not properly registered with EPA.

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Background

The Act makes it illegal to sell, offer for sale, or introduce into a commerce a fuel or fuel additive that is not registered. The registration process is necessary to ensure that fuels and fuel additives that are distributed in the United States and used in mobile sources do not cause increased emissions or harm emission control devices. Based on information submitted by a fuel/fuel additive manufacturer in their notification for registration, EPA may require further testing and provision of information and assurances to ensure that the fuel/fuel additive will not cause increased emissions or harm emission control devices. The Act provides for civil penalties of up to $27,500 per violation per day for each violation occurring between September 2002 and March 15, 2004, and $32,500 per violation per day for each violation occurring on or after March 15, 2004, plus the value of any economic benefit gained by the company as a result of the violations.

Over half the air pollutants in America come from mobile sources of air pollution, such as cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, construction, agricultural and lawn and garden equipment, marine vessels, outboard motors, jet skis, and snowmobiles. Mobile source pollutants include smog-forming volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides, toxic air pollutants such as cancer-causing benzene, and particulate matter or soot. These pollutants cause asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

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Defendant

Biofriendly is a Nevada corporation, located in Covina, California. Biofriendly is in the business of selling, offering for sale, and introducing into commerce fuels and fuel additives in the United States. Biofriendly does business in California and other states, including Texas. Biofriendly also markets its products internationally.

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Clean Air Act Violations

The Complaint alleges that, during the period September 2002 through May 2006, Biofriendly sold, offered for sale, and introduced into commerce a fuel additive, Green Plus, and/or diesel fuel containing the additive Green Plus, which had not been properly registered under the Act. The Complaint further alleges that Biofriendly did not perform testing of the fuel additive and provide information and assurances regarding the fuel additive as required by the Act. Much of the fuel additive was distributed through the Texas Low Emission Diesel Program (TxLED) but Green Plus was also distributed in California. TxLED is a program established by the State of Texas to encourage the use of low emission fuels and fuel additives. In order for a fuel or fuel additive to be part of the TxLED program, it has to be an EPA registered fuel or fuel additive.

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Environmental Benefits

Upon discovery of the violations, Biofriendly ceased the domestic sale and distribution of the unregistered fuel additive. Biofriendly has also taken substantial actions to prevent recurrence of similar violations by performing required testing of fuel additives and providing to EPA required information and assurances.

This action serves as a strong deterrent to this company and to other similarly situated companies, that EPA is very serious about enforcing the fuels regulations and ensuring the quality of the fuel distributed in the United States. Noncomplying fuel additives, when distributed, can have negative impacts on health and the quality of air in a large geographic area.

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Comment Period

The agreement was lodged last Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

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Contact

For more information, contact:

Marcia Ginley
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
OECA/AED/Western Field Office (8MSU)
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202 - 1129
303-312-7156
ginley.marcia@epa.gov

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